LibriVox recording of Hollywood: Its Morals and Manners, by Theodore Dreiser.
Read by Chuck Williamson.
Serialized in Shadowland from November 1921 to February 1922, Hollywood: Its Morals and Manners is Theodore Dreiser's shocking four part expose on the motion picture industry. In it, he shares his observations from his extended stay in Los Angeles, and gives us an intimate look at the seedier underside of Hollywood. (Summary by ChuckW)
Reviewer:Timothy Ferguson -
October 3, 2013 Subject:
This is a really interesting work, originally published as four lengthy magazine articles. It’s about how people get ahead in the Hollywood of the 1920s, and lifted the lid on the casting couch, and other abusive practices. Short, punchy and a great antidote to Hollywood’s myth-making about itself.
Recommended for film history fans.
Reviewer:Robert B. Livingston -
August 8, 2013 Subject:
Highly recommended Librivox reading
Theodore Dreiser's exposition about the trials and tribulations of making a profession, particularly as an actress or actor in Hollywood, is classic.
I don't think is is as much a work describing the "seedier" side of Hollywood, as it is a description of the seedy, exploitative hiring processes pursued when supply of talent outstrips demand.
It is entirely fascinating-- and a warning to any aspiring artist.
No matter what one's profession-- people will here recognize similarities to the way most workers are treated so long as pressures remain for employers to seek the greatest profits at the least cost.
The illusions of the Hollywood Dream... or more broadly, the American Dream function chiefly because of the rare exceptions to the rules which insure that a majority of people will still bear any cost or indignity to succeed against the odds.
Dreiser wraps up his work with a satirical nod to such exceptions.